The food we consume shapes who we are on the inside and out. It can affect so many different parts of our body and our lives. When you understand the chemistry of food, and the acid-alkaline balance, you are able to gain control of your health, your body and your life.
“When we first change ourselves, our lives will follow suit and change too.” -Karma
The Chemistry of Food: the Acid & Alkaline Balance
The acid-alkaline balance has been getting a lot more recognition lately since plant based diets have become more and more popular. This is awesome news! Especially for those of us who are vegan! It means that we will start to see more people eating more plant based products and less animal products (which is not only better for their health but better for the planet’s health too).
We have all learned about the pH scale in school before, but some of us forget that our bodies rely on that scale too! The numbers range from 0-14, zero being super acidic and 14 being super alkaline. A pH level of 7 is neutral which is what most drinking water is at.
When we break it down, the human body functions best on a pH level of 7.4 which is just slightly on the alkaline side of the scale. The way we are able to achieve that balance is through the food we consume.
It’s easy for our bodies to become acidic very quickly. But becoming alkaline is a little bit more work, so we need to make sure the foods we eat are healthy and alkalizing. Once we get too low on the scale our bodies are thrown out of whack and we start to feel some weird symptoms.
You might not be alkaline if you experience:
- Migraine headaches or tension headaches
- Feelings of anxiety or depression
- Becoming irritated or angered easily
- Muscle pain or joint tension
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Sleeping too much (low energy)
- Skin problems like acne or eczema
- Digestion pain or trouble digesting certain foods
- Trouble with your bowel movements
What Are Alkalizing Foods?
Alkalizing foods are foods that bring your body’s pH levels higher and into the desirable 7.4 range! Alkalizing foods are foods such as vegetables, fruits, millet, quinoa, brazil nuts, almonds, tofu and tempeh. If you stick to a variety of these foods you’ll love the way you feel! Eat alkalizing foods in abundance!
Neutral foods are foods that don’t really do much to affect your pH levels. These foods are things like whole grains (like actualy whole grains that aren’t processed into flours, breads & cereal), beans and peanuts. These foods should be eaten moderately.
Pro Tip: If you love toast and sandwiches like I do, opt for Sprouted Whole Grain Bread! The number one brand is Ezekiel bread, but I also really like the Silver Hills brand.
The reason why sprouted whole grain bread is still good for you is because the grains are not processed into flour. The bread also don’t contain modified yeast to make the dough rise faster. This bread takes longer to make due to the sprouting process which is why it’s a buck or two more expensive than your average loaf of bread.
Acid foods are foods and bring your pH level down into the acidic level. These foods are things like meat (including poultry and fish), dairy products, butter, eggs, processed flours and sugars (this includes things like cereals, sweeteners, white bread, anything processed) and refined oils. These food should be VERY limited in your diet and are not needed to live a healthy life.
You can eat like a vegan without actually becoming one! Start by eating more plant based foods such a fruits and veggies, lots of whole grains like rice and oats, and plant based protein like beans and nuts!
When you eat out or at a gathering don’t stress! Opt for a healthy plant based meal (or mostly plant based) like a veggie burger or bean burrito with a side salad rather than ordering a bacon cheeseburger and french fries!
Simple changes like keeping only plant based foods in your fridge is awesome! Consume foods that are colorful and wholesome. Even if you just can’t pass up that late night cheese pizza, that’s okay! Don’t stress about the little slip ups and you will be on your way to feeling and looking your best.
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Coming Soon: Plant Based Difference Starter Guide and 7 Day Cleanse!
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